Archive | Patio Decor RSS feed for this section

Outdoor Decor: Patio Paving

8 Jun

Outdoor Decor: Patio Paving

You will be looking for best garden decor ideas if you are considering patio paving. The range of patio slabs on the market may confuse you so it is a good idea to thoroughly research to establish if you can afford natural stone, or need a cheaper alternative with a similar look or feel. Prices do vary but it is a good idea to set your budget and work within the budgetary constraints you have or you could get carried away.

Paving you can choose from:

  • Flexible Paving
  • Gravel
      • Shingle
      • Crushed Stone
      • Path Gravel
      • Tarmacadam
      • Asphalt
  • Natural Stone
      • Setts
      • Pebbles
  • Reconstituted Stone
  • Brick Paving
  • Timber Paving

Garden Patio Paving

Firstly when paving a patio area you need to have a plan of the area. If it is a simple square it may just be about simply getting the measurements correct and deciding which size of patio paving slabs will best suit your needs. However today garden design is popular and the chances are you will want to incorporate some intricate ideas or create circular patios or patterns into your design. Do a few sketches of what you hope to achieve and then investigate the best ways of achieving your dream design.

Design Ideas

Have you thought about edging your patio with bricks, or do you hope to incorporate perfect circles within the design using blocks? Do you want lawn areas edged in stone or are you incorporating a decking area into your garden? You may aspire to have graceful curves connecting different aspects of the garden?  If so you will have to think quite strategically about your design and it may be worth getting a garden designer to help you. It is important that every measurement is correct and when you are using patio paving stones to create shapes or curves you may have to cut your materials to size. To reduce both cost and waste you may decide to alter your plans to incorporate the off cuts into another aspect of your designs.

Do it yourself

If you are doing it yourself it may be sensible to be realistic and not go for too complex a project. Do it yourself patio paving is probably best started on a small scale to see how you get on. If you intend to do your patio on an incremental basis this is a good way of establishing just how much work is involved in the preparation of the ground prior to actually starting to lay your patio paving slabs. Many people are unrealistic about the amount of preparation needed so do make sure you do your homework and have realistic expectations of the job in hand.

Simple Ideas

If you want a fairly quick and easy solution the simplest ideas may be to examine patio paving kits. Many suppliers are aware of the complexities involved in garden planning and have taken a lot of the work of the planning stage away by introducing a selection of patio paving stone ideas to fit a pre determined standard space 2400mm by 2400mm for example, that will accommodate most patio areas. Stone circle kits are also available and you will really appreciate the benefits of these solutions when planning your patio.

Photo by penywise **Cortesy of sxc.hu

stone-patio-paving

How to Enclose a Patio

11 Dec



Many people ask themselves how to enclose a patio and which is the best way to go around it. To enclose a patio you first need to sketch out your ideas through several designs according to the existing structure and also what is the preferred outcome in terms of look and style. When it comes to thinking about different ideas for enclosing a patio, it is important to point out that the design and overall result should match that of your garden decor or/and the actual look of your house. Is the wood the predominant element? Brick? Concrete? What do you want to enclose a patio with: glass? walls? screen? plastic?

The next thing you have to ask yourself is if there is a need to add a roof. This should be fairly easy to decide upon; first and foremost think why are you enclosing a patio in the first place. There is no doubt that it would protect you from the weather and add an important touch of privacy (especially if you already have a garden for outdoor enjoyment); at the end of the day you do spend quite a lot of time in the patio and/or outdoors during the spring, summer and fall. If the main reason for undergoing such a task is so you can elongate these periods of time during the winter, you should contemplate the idea of roofing your patio as well. There are ups and downs with this option; you will close in your patio area a lot more than if you were just to build walls or add screens around it and you will less light througout the whole year even if you add windows. If you are adding a roof to your patio the best thing would be to think of glass when it comes to the walls, a bit like the British conservatories or at least similar to the style. These conservatories are usually surrounded by glass (the English weather is renouned for being very cold in the winter) and supported by metalic frames. Some of them have the lower half built with bricks as it offers more security and privacy. You should design your roof first and then the framing structure.

The next thing to consider is the cost to enclose a patio. After you finish your design (you should have quite a few sketches so it will be easier to choose the design that fits best) it is important to set yourself a budget and take it from there. Are you going to enclose the patio yourself or are you going to pay for professional help? Surely professionals will be able to do a good job but it will come at a price. You should definitely go for it if your pocket allows. Next you should budget for the right materials and the ones you chose on your sketch. Some are more expensive than others and some are easier to work with especially if you are doing it yourself. Maybe you should compromise here by choosing certain materials  that are cheaper in order to be able to afford others that need to be sound and solid when it comes to quality. Enclosing a patio is not the same as building a house: you don’t need to be so worried about a perfect finish, but building with good materials is always a plus.

The actual enclosure can be done in different ways but the easiest by far is by using screens. They are cheap and very simple to set up. Although not as strong as brick or steel, they will definitely do a good job for many years to come if fitted properly. The other advantage is that they do let a lot of light through which is an important factor when it comes to gardens and patios (or any outdoor area in general). You might want to think about proper patio lighting for the evening and night times and also to enhance the decor of the new enclosed area.

Think of style and design of the windows if you are opting for brick walls, and, again, if you are enclosing it yourself windows might be a bit more complicated than just enclosing with screens. Do you want to add window sills? Are they going to be double windows? What about light coming through the roof? Think of all the electric appliances that need fitting when doing your designs, and of any central heaters that need to be placed.

If you live in a flat and you want to enclose a patio you should first ask your neighbours to see how they feel about it. Also make sure you get planning permissions if needed (whether you live in a flat or in a house in the countryside). Some places consider enclosing a patio building an extension to the house (especially if you are enclosing with brick and adding a roof).

If you are going to spend a good amount of time in your new enclosed patio during the winter you should think of insulating the floor. This can be done easily if there is already concrete and it just against the ground, but it becomes more of a difficult task if the patio is suspended above the ground level (as it happens with garden decking) and you need to do a thorough plan.

Some people wonder how to enclose a covered patio as their property was sold to them with a roofed outdoor area. These situations take place when site developers roof an outdoor structure with the idea of owners wanting to enclose it at some point in the future. Sliding doors are a good, simple and inexpensive solution if this is the case.

How to enclose a patio is down to you in the end, but the most important step that people should not take for granted is designing sketches on paper first to avoid unnecessary problems that might arise later on.

Get Durable Resin Patio Furniture for Your Outdoors Areas

26 Nov


Outdoor garden and patio furniture comes in different materials: rattan, wood, fabric, aluminum, wrought iron, steel and resin. Resin patio furniture is inexpensive, very practical and comes in a great variety of models. From Italian origin, this particular type of furniture does not need any proper maintenance and you can find anything from tables, chairs (stacking and folding – check out resin Adirondack chairs for ultimate quality and style), sofas, strollers, swings and many other items.

The furniture that combine aluminum with resin is also usually of Italian origin, with aluminum pipe structure (anodized or painted) and seat-back plastic resin. The finish used is resin made of wood and metal. Models are usually the folding or stackable type, which makes them very popular for bars and terraces in Mediterranean countries.

By investing in this type of furniture you will not have to spend money every year due to damage caused by the weather. It is comfortable, made for tough use and resistant to the effects of nitrate and chlorine (or just the everyday splashes from regular or inflatable pools). With proper care and cleaning, you can enjoy your resin patio furniture for many years. When you buy your furniture, it should come with maintenance instructions. Do try to follow them as thoroughly as possible, you do want your new acquisition to last as long as possible. Resin furniture not only adds to your garden decor, but it is also one of the most comfortable types, and not only they do not deteriorate easily but is also pleasant to the touch. Try to purchase good quality resin, poor quality one will scratch easily and turn yellow over time.

Resin wicker patio furniture is made of natural fibers. Wicker is more malleable, but can fray badly if it is made of bone or cane. Bamboo and rattan are stronger but more on the expensive side. The advantage is that they support many types of different finishes. Things you have to watch with resin wicker patio furniture would be moisture, fungus and obviously the sun.

The way you take care of your resin outdoor patio furniture is very simple: simply rinse with clean water and allow to dry. Use a mild abrasive product to remove any scratches on the surface. Remove mildew with a mixture of 1 cup of bleach, 2 cups of detergent and a gallon of water.

Resin wicker patio furniture can be cleaned with a hose or pressure washer. Simply remove the cushions and hose away the dirt with water pressure. If the wicker is very dirty, use a sponge, mild soap and cold water for rinsing. Allow the furniture to dry completely and then apply wax to the frame to keep it shiny and waterproof. Some types of wicker, resistant to the weather, are much easier to maintain. Keep cushions indoors during the winter seasons and cover the frames when they are not in use.

Plastic resin patio furniture is definitely the best choice for your outdoor areas if you are looking for inexpensive and durable furniture.

Good Patio Ideas Can Go a Long Way

17 Nov


It is not difficult to come up with brilliant patio ideas if you have taken the time beforehand to plan your design carefully. In my patio design post, I spoke about different steps you have to take when coming up with patio design ideas and how it is good practice to sketch everything on paper before venturing into creating your patio. If you have used this approach considering the best options, you would have ended up with a patio that can easily adapt to new and wonderful ideas that might occur to you as the patio grows with the rest of the house.

We don’t always want exactly the same things. I find myself changing my taste and style every few years or so, and the same happens with things that surround us. I might be really happy with a patio that has a Spanish look and feel, only to find throughout the years that I really want a Japanese garden instead. There is nothing wrong with that, we just have to adjust to our changes and plan things accordingly.

There are great patio ideas and pictures on the internet you can look at for inspiration. Some people go really far and create fantastic “art pieces” when it comes to their patios or general garden decor. Whichever way you look at it, there is no doubt about the fact that having started with a good plan will always help you along when it comes to changes and new garden patio ideas.

Most people are afraid when it comes to changing the whole look of the patio or garden. It just entails too much work and worries in terms of design and the fear of the changes not really working in the end. When it comes to changes and new thoughts and inspiration, most people just want to give it a different look and freshness by moving pots around, adding a few pictures to the walls, changing or purchasing new patio furniture cushions or just adding a different furniture set in the shady corner. This is all good if you keep in mind that even the smallest changes need care and attention. You shouldn’t worry too much if you just want to add a touch, but don’t fall into the big mistake of having too much of everything within the one confined area. As with any patio design, if you are going for a particular style just stick with it, don’t mix and match as it very rarely works! (unless you are a professional designer and you know exactly what you are doing).

For an array of “touches” you can play around with elements that already sit on your patio. This is fairly easy to do, it doesn’t take time and you can add or subtract until you achieve the desired results.

For a marine look, all you have to do is add a few seashells, sand and pebbles around your patio. Scatter them by the pots, hang a few paintings on the walls that enhances the theme (ships, the seashore), find old elements that help reinforce the theme like ornamental anchors and you are pretty much all set.

By nature and history, patios have a Latin feel. If you want a hybrid patio (for example one that mixes the Latin or Spanish feel with the British touch) buy a few different teapots and arrange them nicely on the shelves. Grow roses, tulips and daffodils on your pots, mix bits of old pine, teak and oak furniture and be sure to enjoy your tea and biscuits at 5!

Swings, pergolas and any patio heaters or umbrellas can be adorned with climbing plants. Arrange pots together in different corners of your patio if they have been on display on the same spots for a long period of time. For deck patio ideas “take your living room outside” by arranging sofas and chairs thus extending your living area. Add a couple of spots lights, or, for an even warmer feel, arrange two or three old looking lamps on small wooden tables next to your sofas. Add a shelf that displays some of your favorite books. But do make sure you do live that area as much as possible if the overall intention was to have your patio as an extension of your home.

One of Many Patio Ideas

One of Many Great Patio Ideas / courtesy of sxc.hu

I wouldn’t advice that you change the patio slabs if you just want to add a different touch or style with this outdoor area. It entails a lot of work and it might be too tedious – and expensive – for what you are looking for. Instead, bring your garden closer to your patio by adding planted edgings in between but make sure you create divisions as the garden and the patio are two different areas and should not be mixed creating confusion to the eye.

Water features are a great addition to any patio. Unless heavily masked by planting, water strongly emphasizes the exact form by which it is contained. Study your patio and find out the exact areas where an informal pool or water feature would fit to perfection. These are great features and also give us precise focal points (which are great if you want to bring to life certain areas that looked dull before).

Another great addition if you want to enhance a certain area is statues. Be careful if your patio is small, you don’t want the statue to overtake the whole place. Urns are also very decorative.

Tiles on walls, wicker baskets, dry red chili strings hanging from the roof, great patio covers like the beautiful lattice, patio sets, wooden archways, hanging basket chairs, rattan furniture, potted plants, decorative tablecloths, outdoor led lighting or just patio lighting, umbrellas, hammocks, etc if carefully chosen can add to the patio the special charm you are looking for.

Great outdoor patio ideas come with time and experience. Don’t panic over the prospect of starting a new design, or changing an existing one. With a bit of time, careful planning, thoughtful elements and a little imagination you can give your patio the feel you want to achieve with next to no effort.

Choose the Perfect Patio Design

16 Nov


Your patio design needs to be planned like any garden design: with lots of thought and care. Designing a patio is not just about making the patio look good; you need your design to flow in terms of both the style and convenience.

When it comes to the look, we should take the trouble to pay lots of attention to detail and decoration – anything from patio slabs to planting down to the smallest corner. Patios can have roofs or be in the open like any backyard or garden and can be designed with many changes of level and decorated with fountains and statues. When it comes to convenience, a good patio design should always think of keeping the functionality and/or simplicity it needs. Let’s think of patios as your favorite outdoor rooms.

What we are saying, really, is that when it comes to designing your patio you should be considering it as much as you would your garden decor. With the patio we replace the grass for patio slabs and the plants would generally grown in confined but well thought of spaces. If we are going to make the most of our patio, we need the designs to be carefully crafted in terms of the style, comfort and convenience.

The aspect of the patio is one of the vital components to take into account when making your plans and all those patio design ideas come flooding to your head. There is no point in creating an exotic sunbathing terrace in a position that hardly ever receives the sun. Convention has it that the patio is right behind the house, but does it have to be? In a small plot, this may be the only option and, here, its aspect will, to some extent, dictate its function.

When thinking of different patio designs think carefully about access if you are going to create an outdoor room next to your living room. The wider and more accessible the doorway is, the easier it becomes to use the patio, and the easier it is to provide a harmonious link between the outdoor and indoor rooms. Obvious links, such as flooring materials or color schemes, can be supplemented by using blending or matching furnishings.

The best patio design ideas come when you draw your plans on paper before you execute any of them. Study the situation first. Is your patio going to be near the kitchen, at the front of the house or as an enclosed area within your backyard. Is it a porch styled patio or a Spanish one? Once you design everything on paper, you can start moving things around, creating the planting area here or there, adding visual elements like pots, statues or ponds.

An important point to bear in mind when studying your outdoor patio designs is to think where will you have the most privacy. Although it may not worry you that you are overlooked by neighbors, if you want to create the impression of an outdoor room, some screening will be useful. It does not have to be a solid wall; trellis or even rigid plastic netting covered with climbers gives the illusion of privacy without shutting sunlight out of the garden.

A problem you might encounter when designing your patio is that it might offer too man possibilities for you to decide on, but if you think of it as an outdoor room, you begin to get the problem in perspective. Ideally, it should be as useful, as comfortably as any room indoors – and probably more attractive than the rooms in the house.

It is all very good that you come up with a really fascinating patio design that look amazing on paper. But it is important to point out that the most common mistake made by beginners when designing their patios is either to copy examples that don’t suite the size and style of their outdoor areas or that they try to have a little bit of everything therefore defying what could have been a unique and original style.

When it comes to patio designs – or any other design for that matter – think carefully about the function and likely use of the area and give it a style that fits into an overall theme. By following these simple rules can’t really go wrong with your patio design.

Patio Slabs are Always a Must

16 Nov


Laying patio slabs is probably one of the most important aspects in order to give your patio “the real patio look”. Patio paving slabs come in all sorts of shapes, colors and sizes; it is up to you to decide which slabs are the most appropriate; designs and style that would add to your outdoor area the touch you are looking for thus enhancing your garden decor. Also, it will probably be the most expensive element when you are building/planning your patio – or if you are remodeling.

It is very important to choose garden patio slabs that blend with the surroundings. This applies not only to the texture but to the color too. It will pay in the long run to use the best quality paving material you can afford – it is better to lay patio slabs in a small area well than a large area badly. But first make sure the site is properly prepared or you may have to deal with loose or uneven slabs later.

When planning the size of the patio, always make it a little larger than you think you will need. Ideally, aim to allow at least 3sa ft per person for the first three people and 2sq m for each additional person. For a family of four, this means a patio area of approximately 3x3m. If you are planning to have patio furniture other than seats or tables, then you will have to allocate more space. If our requirements change over the years, it should be possible to extend an existing patio and just keep adding your patio slabs as you go. The difficulties here are matching the surface levels of the original and new patio paving slabs and the color difference between the older, weathered material and the new. So, be generous to start.

If your patio butts up against an existing building, take care that the top surface of your slabs is at least 5cm below the damp-proof course. On the majority of sites this will mean excavating the existing level. You can calculate the degree of excavation necessary by adding together the depth of hardcore and bedding material and the thickness of the particular patio slabs you are intending to use, not forgetting the 5cm free space below the building’s damp-proof course.

Excavating and leveling work will depend on the condition of the original site – it may be necessary to bring in contractors or you may be able to do it yourself. Before planning anything too ambitious in cramped town conditions, consider how you are going to dispose of any soil – this is very important!!

One of the most popular patio slabs are, of course, real stone (especially York stone). It is very expensive paving material, but it has the advantages of wearing well and looking as though it has been in place for years, immediately after it has been laid. Second-hand stone paving slabs can sometimes be found but these, too, tend to be expensive and, very often imperfect. You can also use bricks to create an attractive paving slab around your chosen area. It will be a cheaper option to the York stone.

Concrete is the cheapest paving material for your patio and it can be colored using special coloring powders, or, for a textured look, watered and lightly brushed after laying so that the aggregate is exposed (then the surface tends to be less slippery under-foot). If you use concrete to create your own patio slabs, you must mark it out into squares while still wet so you can simulate the paving stones, but it will look more and more like concrete as it weathers.

Make sure you check for instructions on the internet before venturing into laying down the patio slabs yourself.

Patio Covers – Structures and Protection Outdoors

16 Nov


When we talk about patio covers we are talking about 1) patio furniture covers and 2) structures built above our patios to protect them. Lets have a look at each one of them:

Structures

If you are planning on building a structure to cover your patio area, make sure it is a solid and durable one that you can enjoy for a long time. Well, we also want it to look attractive, of course. They are good not just for your patio but also for the garden, swimming pool or any particular area you need to cover for protection and an extra “added” look.

Patio covers are great for expanding existent areas and therefore increasing their use. They provide fantastic shade and protect against any sun rays and burns (UV protection). A solid patio cover will make us use the swimming pool or designated area more frequently, they are great for hosting underneath a party or “fiesta” and they also allow children to play outdoors for longer periods of time.

And, they just look cool! Make sure to get sleek designs that enhance the look of your patio or garden decor; as it is important to beautify these areas so we can enjoy them with our friends and family even more.

When looking for at patio covers you normally have a few options: wood, steel, plastic and aluminum, and when talking about styles you can build open patio covers, roofed or enclosed. The open lattice is very popular indeed and also very beautiful. You can grow plants that create a “vineyard” type of look on the roof, which would eventually become a cover for your patio cover! Other options would be the solid lattice, screen rooms and other types of sun rooms (very popular in the UK due to the climate conditions); you can see them especially in garden centers.

Other trendy styles are pergolas, porches, canopies, gazebos and arbors (some of them are permanent, others you can move around your patio or just keep them in storage when not in use). Use your patio cover as an extension of any garden decking you might have outdoors, thus creating a type of “guide” towards certain areas of your garden or patio you want your family and guests to walk and enjoy.

Aluminum patio covers are also a very strong and solid option. Get one with a wooden “finish” so the design blends better with the rest of patio furniture, plants or trees you may have.

Patio covers offer a pleasant alternative to remodeling your home and also don’t forget will help increase the value of your property. Add patio covers in different parts of your outdoor areas to provide additional freshness to your home. Think of corridors, gardens that could almost be maintenance-free thanks to extra shade, cover any sidewalk or even your parking lot as they usually have their own poles to support the structure. As with most things regarding your patio and garden decor, you just have to be creative and willing to spend a little money on the course. You can even build a patio cover to give shade to your dog house in the garden!

Patio Furniture Covers

If we want our outdoor furniture to last, we need to protect it as much as we can. This is where a good patio furniture cover comes in handy. We can usually find these covers in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from oval or round patio table covers to grill, umbrella and patio heater covers, picnic table covers,  outdoor folding chairs, parasols, all sorts of outdoor patio furniture sets and even sofa covers!

Antique garden furniture

Use patio covers for your outdoor furniture

Creative Commons License photo credit: Crinklecrankle.com

Outdoor furniture has usually been designed to withstand bad weather without major problems with durable
materials that offer great resistance to the cold or intense sun. Still, most garden stores insist that you protect your furniture with outdoor furniture covers especially when the garden or patio are not being used as a living area due to the weather conditions (or if you go away for long periods of time). Well, lets also not forget you will have to clean your outdoor furniture a lot less if you use your covers pretty often.

Some of these covers come in really good quality materials, made with highly resistant plastic and looking gorgeous with all sorts of decorative patterns to “add” to your garden decor. Weather you are into “looks” or just wanted to protect your outdoor furniture as much as possible, be sure to buy patio covers for all the bits and pieces you usually keep outdoors. It will be well worth it and your furniture will look as good as when you first bought it for a long period of time.

A Patio Heater Will Change Your Outdoor Life

16 Oct


The patio heater challenge: every year we think about buying one; every year we see our friends and colleagues enjoying their benefits and every year we go through another cold winter… thinking soon enough we will be owning one or maybe even two patio heaters! Well, the time has come! Don’t put up with one more cold or rainy day. Get yourself ready, focus and read the next paragraphs to find out what you should know about patio heaters before buying your first one!

Types of Outdoor Patio Heaters:

Gas Patio Heater

The Gas Patio Heater is the most traditional one. These types of heaters are very easy to find in garden centers, and some DIY shops. It is also commonly known as a propane patio heater. The gas bottle is concealed at the base making the heater very sturdy and giving it a “lamp post” look. You can also find them in bronze and chrome color. Check out the heat output which may vary from heater to heater.

Table Top Patio Heater

Going camping and wanting to take a heater with you? This is the perfect choice, then. This small patio heater has been designed to sit on a table rather than as stand alone. Think of it as a shortened version of the gas patio heater. They are very convenient as you can move them around easily. Even though the heat output might not be as much as the gas patio heater, it might be what you are looking for if you are trying to save a bit of money.

Electric Patio Heater

This type of heater is also known as infrared patio heater. If you are not keen on using gas bottles

Table Top Patio Heater

Table Top Patio Heater

don’t even hesitate going after a traditional electric patio heater which will use electricity instead. The cool thing about this particular heater is that it heats things up rather than just the air in between. It is also very good for the environment.

Wall Mounted Patio Heater

Even though many people opt for propane patio heaters or electric stand ups, this is a an efficient little number as you can mount it on the wall without taking up necessary space. So if your patio or garden is small, if you need the space on your patio table or it is just convenient for some landscape design ideas you might have in mind, then this is the one to go for.

So, what is it gonna be, wall, table or simply free standing?

Next, lets have a look at some things you might want to know about your new patio heater:

- It is NOT the same as the ones you see in pubs and bars. Those ones don’t come in so many different styles and are more robust.

- They do produce enough heat to heat up a nice wide space. If you have a large garden or patio and want to keep it warm, consider buying more than one, though. Also, if you are looking to improve your garden decor, consider buying one that adds to your outdoor space.

- You can normally decide on the temperature level of the heat. Warm up the area first in high heat and then turn it down to save on gas or electricity.

- There are plenty of patio heater covers in the shops and you should really consider buying one for the winter period!

- For maximum durability consider a stainless steel patio heater as opposed to the traditional powder coated patio heater.

Your outdoor patio heater will be a life changing experience for you and your family as you will be able to enjoy your patio or garden even on those really cold winter days.

**You might want to also check patio umbrellas

Patio Umbrellas – Enhance Your Patio Look!

22 Sep


They are beautiful, aren’t they? If you have a patio, you MUST at least get one of the many patio umbrellas available in the market. Taking care of your patio decor is not only about what is displayed around it. You have to think about comfort as well. As I said before, they can be very beautiful but the most important thing is that they provide the necessary shade especially around the summer time. So, don’t let another summer catch up with you without having purchased your patio umbrella before those sun rays burn your skin and it’s too late!

There are lots of types of umbrellas and patio umbrella lights you might be needing. Think of your patio or garden decor before setting into the venture of buying one. Colors are very important, you want everything to match. I have seen numerous lovely patios with… ugh, an offset patio umbrella that kills the whole look. If your patio is small, don’t make the mistake many do – don’t get a huuuge rectangular umbrella that hides everything under a massive shadow with no hope for some of those lovely rays to come through. It is just so uninviting! Sure it helps on a very sunny day, but there is no need for such massive action!

Always make sure that your new outdoor patio umbrella is

- one that you really, really like
- that is also the right size
- that falls within your prize range
- and that it perfectly matches your patio decor

So, with those four things in mind, let’s have a look at the different types of patio umbrellas you will soon display in your beloved garden or patio.

Types of Patio Umbrellas

What sort of umbrella are you looking for? There are plenty of different offset patio umbrellas, or maybe you are looking for a cantilever patio umbrella? They are both similar in the sense that they have been designed with a pole on the side and the shade falls on one of the umbrella sides which is particularly useful if you don’t have a table in your patio, or one with a hole in the middle. I personally find these types of patio umbrellas to be a bit “on your face” looks-wise, but they are the choice of many, many people.

One of many beautiful patio umbrellas you could have in your garden!

One of many beautiful patio umbrellas you could have in your garden!

Another type you might want to consider is the market umbrella which has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Out of all the outdoor patio umbrellas this one is by far my favorite. The pole sits in the center and stretches itself at the top with spokes that hold the umbrella in place. They are usually made of wood which helps with your garden decor giving it a much more “natural look”.

A more expensive option but made with durable hardwood poles is the commercial patio umbrella. They are the ones used outside cafés – very, very popular in Europe – as they cater for shade on each individual table and the customers love it. If you decide to go for this type of patio table umbrella, you can also use it for your beach table – if you have one, that is!

Materials

The poles are usually made of tea oak, aluminum, metal or fiberglass, while the canopy is usually made of vinyl or canvas. As you can see, outdoor patio umbrellas come in many different materials, but, again, you want to make sure that your chosen one blends in with your motif.

Shape

Again, a wide variety. Whether you are looking for a rectangular, round, oval or square one always measure your table – if you’ve got one – before setting off to buy any of the patio umbrellas mentioned above. If you are looking for furniture to go with it, check out the splendid wicker rattan garden furniture, which is one of my favorites for outstanding garden decor. If you need the space in your garage to store your garden furniture as well as any other unused garden supplies, garage storage ceiling racks are just great.

Things to remember when shopping:

- Look for the right look and shape that matches your patio or garden.
- Have your table measurements at hand when buying your chosen one, also, check out any patio umbrella lights you might be needing for the evening and night time.
- Think of the material that best suits your needs.
- Don’t overspend! Stay within the limits of your budget.

And one last tip:
- Make sure your umbrella comes with a robust base!